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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

U.S. Workers Were Less Productive In Spring

August 9, 2011 5:35 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers were less productive in the spring for the second quarter in a row, a trend that may not bode well for future hiring. Productivity dropped 0.3 percent in the April-June quarter, following a decline of 0.6 percent in the first three months of the year, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Energy Intelligence: Propane-Fueled Forklifts Offer Sustainability, Performance

August 8, 2011 12:26 pm | by www.poweredbypropane.org | Articles | Comments

Owners and managers of manufacturing facilities are working hard to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into everyday operations. As they look for ways to update their existing material handling processes to meet the demands of corporate sustainability initiatives, many are realizing they already have taken that first step by using a fleet of propane-fueled forklifts.

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The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977

August 8, 2011 12:13 pm | Articles | Comments

By now, most legal, finance, and compliance personnel at large international manufacturers are well versed in the compliance requirements of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA). Executive leadership at most companies that are affected by the FCPA have been satisfactorily scared into compliance by promises of huge fines and jail time if violations of the FCPA are uncovered.

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Big Book,Big Opportunity

August 8, 2011 12:06 pm | by Anna Wells | Articles | Comments

The word at the root of “succession”—intentionally relevant or not—is success. This abstraction is no less implied as it is a tradition for MSC Industrial Supply, as it embarks on the latest “passing of the torch” from CEO David Sandler to his board-appointed successor, Erik Gershwind.

Do Your Mast Hoses Look Like This?

August 8, 2011 11:49 am | Articles | Comments

Do your mast hoses look like this? Many times, the last thing we think of is maintaining the hoses on our material handling equipment. But without maintaining, hoses will surely create machine downtime. More importantly, if the hose fails, it creates a potentially hazardous situation for the employee operating the unit and anyone in close proximity.

Mercury Marine Transforms Business Through PLM

August 8, 2011 11:36 am | Articles | Comments

Few characteristics serve a business enterprise worse than complacency and immobility. Market shifts, changes in customer demand, and the near-constant evolution of technology forces companies to consider new and innovative ways of doing business. No one has to explain this to Mercury Marine, a nationwide manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines.

NOVA Increases Scheduling Horizon By 100 Percent

August 8, 2011 11:25 am | Articles | Comments

NOVA Chemicals produces plastics and chemicals essential to everyday life. Their current businesses and joint ventures focus on ethylene, polyethylene, and Performance Styrenic polymers production in manufacturing sites strategically located throughout Canada, the U.S., and South America. As a legacy MIMI customer, NOVA Chemicals recognized AspenTech’s supply chain capabilities, but over time, their installation had grown to more than 25 unique models with no standardization or integration.

A Magical Mix

August 8, 2011 11:06 am | by Lindsey Coblentz, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Articles | Comments

Childhood friends Eileen Spitalny and David Kravetz founded Fairytale Brownies in 1992 in a friend’s Old Town Scottsdale, AZ, catering kitchen. Using Kravetz’s mother’s 55-year-old secret family brownie recipe, the business started out selling to friends, farmers markets, and festivals.

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Why Select An Epoxy Adhesive?

August 8, 2011 9:34 am | by Master Bond | Articles | Comments

When considering the effectiveness of an epoxy adhesive, it is useful to analyze the general formulation of the compounds that constitute it. Epoxies are created by polymerizing a mixture of two starting compounds, the resin and the hardener. When resin is mixed with a specified catalyst, curing is initiated.

Tyson's 3Q Profit Fell 21 Percent

August 8, 2011 9:20 am | by Christopher Leonard, AP Agribusiness Writer | News | Comments

Tyson Foods Inc. said Monday that its profit fell 21 percent for its third fiscal quarter on higher grain costs and lagging results from its chicken business. An oversupply in the poultry industry has kept prices depressed. Poultry demand has remained stubbornly low as cash-strapped families cut back on restaurant dining and prepared meals that once underpinned chicken sales.

Arrow Electronic Bids For Chip One Stop

August 8, 2011 9:17 am | News | Comments

MELVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Arrow Electronics announced a $2,857-per-share bid for Japanese electronic components supplier Chip One Stop on Monday. Arrow declined to disclose the total value of the deal. Chip One Stop is based in Yokohama, Japan. Arrow said its sales for the latest fiscal year were about $47 million.

Bridgestone Half-Year Group Net Profit Up 22 Percent

August 8, 2011 9:15 am | News | Comments

TOKYO, Aug. 8 (Kyodo) — Bridgestone Corp. said Monday its group net profit in the January-June period increased 21.6 percent from a year earlier to 54.12 billion yen on brisk sales of tires, its mainline product, both in Japan and overseas. The tiremaker's consolidated operating profit in the first half of the business year rose 19.

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Toyota To Produce Electric RAV4

August 8, 2011 9:11 am | News | Comments

SEATTLE, Aug. 5 (Kyodo) — Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will start mass-producing an electric version of the RAV4 sport-utility vehicle, which it is now jointly developing with U.S. EV venture Tesla Motors Inc., at its plant in Ontario, Canada, in 2012. Toyota currently manufactures gasoline-powered RAV4s at the Ontario plant, and will produce its EV version using motors and batteries made by Tesla at its California factory, the Japanese automaker said.

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Issa Subpoenas Gov't Documents In Boeing Case

August 8, 2011 9:09 am | by Sam Hananel, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of the House Oversight committee has subpoenaed documents from the National Labor Relations Board's lawsuit against Boeing Co., increasing the political pressure over a case that has the GOP fuming. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, a leading critic of the dispute, claims the lawsuit interferes with the company's ability to decide where to do its work.

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Job Worries Grow As Debt-Limit Issue Recedes

August 8, 2011 9:07 am | by Tom Raum, Associated Press | News | Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anger at the nation's leaders for taking so long to strike a debt-ceiling deal has turned into high anxiety over jobs and the economy amid growing fears of a new recession. The news that credit rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the nation's credit rating a notch for the first time ever only added to the tension.

Toyota Plans Record Output In 2012

August 8, 2011 6:23 am | Videos | Comments

Toyota Motor is reportedly seeking to boost global production by 24 percent to a record 8.9 million vehicles in 2012 as it rushes to make up for output lost due to the March earthquake. If you're having trouble watching this video, try downloading the latest version of Flash Player or contacting your IT department.

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How Cultural Awareness Can Boost Your Bottom Line

August 8, 2011 6:20 am | by Mariah E. de Forest, Imberman and DeForest, Inc. | Articles | Comments

Manufacturers can boost productivity, lower per-unit costs, and better meet the ever-stiffer demands of customers by focusing on the cultural values of their growing foreign-born Latino population. Most manufacturers have tried to motivate their workers for better productivity -- with varying degrees of success.

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SunPower Plans Mexico Plant

August 8, 2011 5:48 am | News | Comments

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Solar cell maker SunPower Corp. said Friday it plans to own and operate a panel-manufacturing plants in Mexicali, Mexico to serve the North American market. The company said it will lease an existing building with up to 320,000 square feet. SunPower said it will use the plant to make several models of solar panels for homes, commercial buildings and power plants.

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United Steelworkers Ratify Deal With Ludlum

August 8, 2011 5:46 am | News | Comments

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The United Steelworkers have ratified a four-year contract with Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technology Inc. covering 3,000 workers at Allegheny Ludlum plants in western Pennsylvania and an ATI plant in Albany, Ore. The union and Pittsburgh-based ATI announced the tentative deal June 30, the day the last contract expired.

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Mustangs, Jettas Under Safety Investigation

August 8, 2011 5:44 am | News | Comments

DETROIT (AP) — Safety investigators are looking into possible transmission problems in some 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustang models and fuel lines in 2011 Volkswagen Jettas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects says on its website Sunday that it has received 32 complaints about an unexpected inability to shift into gear on Mustangs with manual transmissions.

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